Brazil's mostly government owned oil corporation Petrobras celebrated this week its entry to the select group of world companies with a market value over US$ 100 billion.
According to a release from the company, this was the first time Petrobras shares monthly average value, in December, was above the US$ 100 billion milestone.
A similar average had been reached last April, May 2006 but never on a monthly basis. At the close of the year (12/29/2006) Petrobras equity value reached the equivalent of US$ 108 billion.
Operations in Brazil's main stock market, Ibovespa, showed Petrobras ordinary shares (with the right to vote) rose 32% during 2006, while preferred stock (with preference in the receipt of dividends) soared 34%. Ibovespa performance in 2006 averaged 33% rise.
However in New York, Petrobras performance was even stronger: ordinary shares jumped 45% and preferred shares 44% during last year. The Amex Oil sectorial rate which measures the world's main oil company shares performance increased 20%.
Since 2002 Petrobras' market value has surged to 108 billion, from US$ 15 billion, a 601% appreciation. When measured in reais, the market value rose from 54 billion reais, in 2002, to 230 billion reais, in 2006, a 323% high.
Petrobras which is under Brazilian government control but has shares in the stock markets of São Paulo, New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires is one of the oil corporations which has most grown in the last few years. The corporation besides Brazil operates in Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, United States, Peru and Venezuela.
The company has proven reserves of oil and gas totaling 13.5 billion barrels sufficient to supply Brazil's domestic market and last November reached a global daily production of 2.321 million barrels of oil and gas.
However in the release Petrobras also admits that the shares' appreciation is mainly because of the increase in production and "a most favorable world scenario for the oil companies and industry."